“Reality Should Not Be Taboo,” Fans Defend “Disgusting” ‘Turning Red’

in Pixar

turning red period scene

Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios’ latest project, Turning Red, released directly to the Disney+ streaming platform on March 11, 2022.

Tristan Allerick Chen as Tyler (left) and Rosalie Chiang as Mei Mei (middle)
Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

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Almost immediately, the coming-of-age film began receiving backlash online due to its exploration of a young girl getting her period for the first time. One scene, specifically, features the line, “I have ibuprofen, Vitamin B, a hot water bottle, and pads.”

Despite some viewers’ assertions that the movie is “inappropriate” or “over-sexualized” for diving into this storyline, many fans have taken to social media to defend The Walt Disney Company and Pixar for their portrayal of something that is undeniably authentic to the coming-of-age experience for young women around the globe.

Turning Red Mei Lee
Credit: Pixar

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Jolly J wrote:

People didn’t like Pixar addressing a girls transition to womanhood in Turning Red.

I 100% understand why some find the topic uncomfortable but there’s nothing “inappropriate” or “disgusting” about a woman’s period. It’s a natural stage of their life. I respect Disney for this.

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Hilary Monahan shared:

Turning Red is about how messy puberty is. If you don’t want a movie to talk about hormones, periods, and first crushes to your 12-ish kid, it’s not the movie for your family.

But they get to make movies for pre-teen kids. Those kids deserve to see themselves, too.

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Medical professional Dr. Amir Pakdel, MD, Ph.D. shared his thoughts on the situation:

NASA’s male engineers (rocket scientists) sent 100 tampons into space because they thought that’s how many tampons the first woman in space is going to need for her 7 day trip.

So yeah. I’m totally okay with Pixar’s Turning Red teaching kids about periods.

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Cath posted about her own real-life experience:

I haven’t even watched Turning Red yet but the people calling it inappropriate for discussing periods are so weird. I got mine at 8? Refusing to talk about things won’t make them not real lol.

Alexandria Leigh concurred:

What I don’t get is that, also, they HARDLY talk about periods. It’s like a casual, no details, part of the story. They don’t say what it is at all. So people are upset that the movie referenced that a 13 year old might get a period and that it is embarrassing to her. That’s it.

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The Wordsmith Wraith eloquently noted that “biological reality” should not be an off-limits topic, particularly in a film about growing up:

It’s very creepy how some people are saying Turning Red is “inappropriate for kids” because it talks about periods. I was 11 when I had my first period. It was part of my childhood.

The biological reality of little girls should not be a taboo.

The conversation surrounding Turning Red will undoubtedly be an ongoing one as fans discuss Pixar’s decision to address challenging pre-teen topics onscreen.

More on Turning Red

Mei Mei the Red Panda
Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

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The official description of the movie reads:

Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter — an unfortunate reality for the teenager. 

As if the changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award winner Domee Shi (Pixar short “Bao”) and produced by Lindsey Collins.

What do you think about Turning Red?

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